Leeds youngsters reclaim roads close as they close for ‘Street Play’

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A NEW scheme encouraging neighbourhoods to close off their streets for children to play safely has been launched in Leeds.

The ‘Play Streets’ project started yesterday, with one street in the Gledhow area of Roundhay taking the lead.

Youngsters enjoying the freedom of their street closure in Roundhay. Pic: James Hardisty.

Youngsters enjoying the freedom of their street closure in Roundhay. Pic: James Hardisty.

The road was closed to traffic for two hours, from 3.15pm to 5.15pm, to allow youngsters to play safely outdoors in their local community.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children’s services, said: “Play Streets allows communities to reclaim some of the space around them, not only for children to play in but also for residents to get to know each other and build closer and friendlier neighbourhoods.

“It’s important we provide spaces where children can be active and enjoy some of the more traditional play their parents and grandparents enjoyed.”

Play Street sessions usually last for a few hours and can be held weekly, fortnightly or monthly, either after school or at weekends.

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The scheme is run by local charity Leeds Play Network and Play England, with funding from the Department of Health.

Leeds Play Network can offer help to anyone wanting to start Play Street sessions. Call 0113 201 6790 or visit www.leedsplaynetwork.org.uk for more information.

To apply for a road closure, visit the Leeds City Council website at www.leeds.gov.uk.

You can also apply to take part in the project as part of National Playday, which is held on August 5.

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Visit www.playday.org.uk to apply before June 24 or for more details.

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